Reviewing the tape of New York Jets quarterback Mike White in Week 12, to no surprise, was enjoyable. Following weeks of low-level quarterback play, the Jets finally got some strong execution from under center.
A few of the noteworthy points to take away from White’s game that jumped before diving into the film cutups were his poise and calm pocket presence. Also, his ability to stand firm in the pocket when there was late pressure. White made good, quick reads taking what was there, getting the ball out. Lastly, on a few of the big, exciting plays generated, White was willing to take some calculated risks with “trust” throws.
Below, 12 clips sorted out into six categories from Mike White’s first start of 2022 against the Bears will be dissected.
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New York Jets Film Room: Mike White
Quick timing, accurate throws underneath:
The first clip here was his first throw of the game.
The Jets get a Cover-1 from the Bears. Up at the top of the screen, Garrett Wilson runs a slant and Michael Carter a flat.
White keys in on Wilson from the snap. He waits just for Wilson to clear the linebacker (#45) matched up on Carter, and in a fairly tight window with the linebacker (#57) reading him as the lurk defender all the way, White is able to get enough zip on it and quickly deliver an accurate ball to get himself going with his first completion of the day.
Another very similar type of throw here in play number two.
The Jets motion Carter out, leaving White empty in the backfield. White, again, knows where he is going with the ball, up top to Corey Davis on a slant, and with good positioning by Davis, White is able to place a pinpoint, accurate ball where only his guy can get it.
Taking what’s there:
One of the biggest issues the Jets had with Zach Wilson. Completing the easy, simple passes when stuff was there seemed virtually impossible.
Multiple times throughout this ballgame, White did a good job of taking what was there in the short game against zone coverage.
This first play below was fairly early on in the game.
The Jets, in empty again, get zone coverage up top against the trips side to the 3×2 alignment.
A three-level concept is dialed up by Mike LaFleur with the #1, Davis clearing it out deep. The #2, Carter, runs the short route. And the #3 in the trips set, Conklin, runs the intermediate out/corner.
At the top of his drop, White hitches and knows to get the ball out to the open target, Carter, underneath as Davis is occupied by the corner and Conklin still not fully cleared of the hook-to-curl zone linebacker. He delivers an accurate throw, gaining a few yards.
The Bears send pressure with six on this one. The slot cornerback comes from the trips side of the 3×1, and White throws right that way to CJ Uzomah on the flat, taking the easy, open target with room to operate after the catch.
With this rep, the Jets motion Uzomah from fullback to tight end pre-snap. The Bears run a Tampa-2 coverage.
Thanks to the tight-split with Wilson up top, the curl-to-flat zone corner up top stays in tight, far enough from the boundary.
LaFleur dials up a high-low with Wilson running the corner route and Uzomah delaying his release to the flat. At the top of his deep seven-step drop, White hitches, reads the boundary curl-to-flat corner occupying Wilson’s deeper route and takes Uzomah underneath once again.
Poise, calm pocket presence:
White kept a cool demeanor when under pressure in the pocket all game, few better than this play.
Here, the Jets dial up a play action, counter OF, looking to hit Uzomah on the pop pass over the middle, working against the momentum of the defense.
The Bears are in Cover-1, and the Mike linebacker (#57) cuts off White’s initial read, Uzomah, on the play.
Pressure happens to get right in White’s grill (#91), forcing him off his spot, but he remained collected. As White moves his feet left, so do his eyes, and he sees a wide-open Ty Johnson in the flat, delivering an accurate throw while taking a hit.
This next play can fall under both the “taking what’s there” bucket as well as the pocket presence.
After looking downfield at the top of his drop, both Davis and Wilson are still running their routes.
Reading the leverage of the linebacker (#44) at the bottom, who starts to side-shuffle, White knows he can deliver to his outlet, Zonovan “Bam” Knight, despite the pressure in his throwing lane.
On the move:
The Jets did move the launch point with White a few times in this game of play-action rollouts/boots.
Here, the Jets are in 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end). They motion Elijah Moore. Off play-action, White moves to his right and throws an accurate strike to Wilson on the intermediate level of the three-level route concept.
Reading the field, making accurate intermediate-level throws:
White routinely displayed the ability to efficiently read the field and make good throws on the second level.
On this rep, the Jets are just outside the red zone. They go 3×1 with the trips to the bottom of your screen. LaFleur calls another flood/sail concept occupying all three levels. Davis (#1) clears, Moore (#2) runs the intermediate out-break, and Conklin (#3) to the flat underneath.
Similar to the completion to Michael Carter shown above, the Bears play zone coverage to the trips side, with Cover-3. The deep-third corner to the bottom stays with Davis. Conklin takes the slot corner responsible for the flat. It leaves Moore open, who does a great job patiently working through the zone with White.
Moving to his left, White is able to deliver an accurate throw for a touchdown.
The Jets run a play-action counter OF here. It looks like a breakdown in coverage by the Bears here (linebacker #57), as he does take a second to look back while the rest of the defense is in Cover-1.
Either way, White exploits, taking advantage with the open target once again, delivering an accurate throw with some late pressure coming down, forcing him to step up.
The types of throws we have been waiting on. With such talented wide receivers like Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, at times, you have got to take chances. And White did so in his first start. Both plays here happened to go for over 40 yards.
This first one to Moore helped get the Jets going, as this was a pivotal third-and-long conversion in the second quarter.
Moore, in the slot (#2) up top, runs a dig route. The Bears are in Cover 2 Man.
White knows where he wants to go with this one and trusts Moore all the way. Even with the slot cornerback on his inside and the strong safety over the top.
Moore delivers a good head fake, selling outside at the top. White lets this one rip with anticipation, one courageous throw, to say the least, and throws a terrific ball.
The final play, a fairly similar one.
Here, the Jets are in 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends).
The Jets run play-action with Uzomah as the cross-sifter, faking the zone-split run. From there, it’s a deep drop for White.
To the bottom, Denzel Mims, on the line of scrimmage, runs the clear route. With Wilson behind on the dig. The Bears are once again in Cover 1.
Even with the hook-to-curl linebacker, White knows he wants Wilson and lets it fly.
With late pressure in his face, White stands tall and places the perfect amount of touch on the pass to get it over the linebacker. From there, Wilson does the rest.